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#1
Every person on stage wants to play well, but they also want to look cool, right? A lot of guitarists have their guitars hanging at their knees, which definitely inhibits their playing to some extent.

Would you guys rather play at 100%, and stand there concentrating on what you're doing, or play at 80% of your playing capacity, looking incredibly bad-ass?
Has anyone made a decision between looking good on stage and playing to the best of their ability?
#2
Practice playing well while rocking out?
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#4
Playing well>looking cool. Substance needs to be the foundation, not the visual style.
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#5
I play accurate while I move around.

When I wrote more upper neck stuff, it became too hard to prop my leg up after moving away from the mic, so I just raised my guitar. I was into the Fall of Troy, so I thought it looked cool enough, and I still do.
#7
on stage i never play 100% i usually konw the song well enough to play it perfectly while not maxing out skills so i can focus on stage presence adn entertaining the crowd since thats what your there for

having said that looking cool never beats sounding goodand having the guitar at my knees does neither for me
#8
Quote by iwannabesedated
Neither. It should be about the feel of the music. Not the technical ability or "looking cool."



Looking Cool vs. Playing Well


Wrong thread?
#9
Quote by Zeletros
Looking Cool vs. Playing Well


Wrong thread?


No, what I'm saying is that the idea you need to choose between playing well or looking good is faulty, and you should be more concerned about the way the music feels in the context.
#10
Quote by iwannabesedated
No, what I'm saying is that the idea you need to choose between playing well or looking good is faulty, and you should be more concerned about the way the music feels in the context.



I don't get it. How is this even related?
#11
Quote by iwannabesedated
No, what I'm saying is that the idea you need to choose between playing well or looking good is faulty, and you should be more concerned about the way the music feels in the context.


when playing live playing the song well and stage presence are a big part of the way the music feels
#12
Quote by Zeletros
I don't get it. How is this even related?


If you're concerned about playing well and/or looking cool you're doing it wrong.
#13
Nobody is going to comment on how cool you look when they hear you play shitty.
#14
Stage presence. The crowd typically doesn't notice mistakes like you'd think they would, and they're there to both see AND hear you. Remember, a live show is also a visual experience, if all you do is stand there and play you might as well be a jukebox.
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#15
Quote by rgrockr
Stage presence. The crowd typically doesn't notice mistakes like you'd think they would, and they're there to both see AND hear you. Remember, a live show is also a visual experience, if all you do is stand there and play you might as well be a jukebox.


This.
#16
Quote by iwannabesedated
If you're concerned about playing well and/or looking cool you're doing it wrong.



#17
I think its a balance of both, coz if a guitarist has his chin resting on his guitar body, he's gonna look like napolean dynamite no matter what he's playing, and if a guitarist looks cool and he ****s up, all that badassness goes straight out the window
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#18
Quote by Zeletros


Alright, after reading my posts I realize I'm not being very clear.

My point is that if you have to choose between playing well and looking cool you're doing it wrong. You should, in a live setting, do what feels right and not make a (seemingly) logical choice beforehand about whether or not you want to look good or play well.

Playing the song perfectly is fine, but I'm far more interested in seeing an artist play sloppy music with emotion, than tight music while just standing there. I don't consider that "looking cool" I consider that good performance.
#20
Quote by iwannabesedated
Alright, after reading my posts I realize I'm not being very clear.

My point is that if you have to choose between playing well and looking cool you're doing it wrong. You should, in a live setting, do what feels right and not make a (seemingly) logical choice beforehand about whether or not you want to look good or play well.

Playing the song perfectly is fine, but I'm far more interested in seeing an artist play sloppy music with emotion, than tight music while just standing there. I don't consider that "looking cool" I consider that good performance.


That is, in general, true.

But when you're GIVEN a choise only between the 2: playing well and doing nothing, or running around playing badly.
#21
Quote by Zeletros
That is, in general, true.

But when you're GIVEN a choise only between the 2: playing well and doing nothing, or running around playing badly.


That's not the question though. He's asking about the difference between 100% of your ability while being boring, or 80% of your ability while "looking cool." If I had to pick one or the other, I guess 80% while looking cool, because that's a good live performance. Save the 100% for the studio.

I guess in general I'm also saying the question is faulty to begin with.

Edit: Forgive me my posts aren't particularly concise at 4:00 am.
Last edited by iwannabesedated at Oct 19, 2011,
#22
If you can't play good live yousuck~
If you try to look cool while playing you are a poser~
Let it all come
#23
I want to look cool while playing, but I have to weigh up whether or not the crowd is participatory enough for me to do so without looking like a knob.

It's called the "Pretentious Line" and varies depending on the venue and the 'rabidness' of the crowd.
#24
You should play well and look cool. I wouldn't be to concerned about it sounding flawless in a live setting. The people are there for a show, after all.
#25
Quote by guitarninjaruy
If you can't play good live yousuck~
If you try to look cool while playing you are a poser~
Let it all come

You are performing, on stage. It's not like you just happened to be there and all of a sudden people starting watching you. As a performer, it should be your aim to give a good show and looking cool may very well be part of that.

Oh, and this is why sensible people choose to play pop rock/punk live.
Last edited by frankv at Oct 19, 2011,
#26
I always have my guitar Tom Morello style. IMO it can look cool, if you are able to pull it off.
#28
Quote by frankv
You are performing, on stage. It's not like you just happened to be there and all of a sudden people starting watching you. As a performer, it should be your aim to give a good show and looking cool may very well be part of that.

Oh, and this is why sensible people choose to play pop rock/punk live.



But some bands/people don'thave what it takes to give a good show. Genres doesn't matter if you are able to play good and look good while doing it, its more a personality thing
#29
Giving a good performance could arguably fit under playing well.

Looking cool doesn't matter at all unless you're 15. Devin Townsend puts on amazing shows, but at no point does he look anything approaching cool.

EDIT: Also, seeing a good musician perform often looks pretty cool. When I read "looking cool" I imagined bands who get onto stage and pose with their legs apart, or jump around in a desperate attempt to maintain out attention, like the equivalent of jangling some keys around in front of a light. That's not really something I care about seeing.
Last edited by whalepudding at Oct 19, 2011,
#31
Quote by whalepudding
Giving a good performance could arguably fit under playing well.

Looking cool doesn't matter at all unless you're 15. Devin Townsend puts on amazing shows, but at no point does he look anything approaching cool.






Yea, he does.
#32
Depends on your style / genre / show ambiance.

I play "Blues-based Hard Rock" so typically it's nothing to hard. So there is a coupling of an image and sound. If you're playing technical shred metal you can't ( and don't ) exactly what your music man hanging down to your knees. It's all about making sure you give the fans what they want. In some cases running around/jumping and some mistakes are part of the "live" factor of a show ; other times it ruins the whole aspect of why you went.
#33
Start out playing 100%.

Once the feel starts settling in, you with unknowingly rock out at 100%.

Profit ?
#34
I play bass and look like a dork when i play, but i dont care their are two other guys walking around entertaining the crowd, i would rather play correctly and consistently, than jump about like a turd.

Playing well beats stage presence everytime
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#35
Well, playing well is important, but you miss the point of a live concert if you just stand there doing your scales.

Obviously you can concentrate more if you get to a super brootz solo, but if your songs are like that all the time you need to reconsider.
#36

Fuck your ball-level guitars, I have mine breast-height.
dirtbag ballet by the bins down the alley
as i walk through the chalet of the shadow of death
everything that you've come to expect


#37
It's obvious you've got to have both. I don't want to see a band stood there with no stage presence and their playing tighter than a Nun's muff. However, I would prefer to see a sloppy band with amazing stage presence. If they're having fun, and the music still sounds good, I don't care.
#38
I think Tom Morello looks cool while playin and he has his guitar kinda high up
#39
Poor misconception that having your guitar high means you don't look cool if you ask me!

Tom Morello, Mike Einziger etc. They look great with their guitars scraping their chin. It's all about looking natural.
#40
The real debate here should be

Low Guitar Straps Vs. High Guitar Straps

Personally, high is easier for me since its almost like playing sitting down, plus you look badass like The Beatles
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